Family: Swietenia Macrophylla
Origin: Native to Brazil. Grown on the islands of Fiji.
Common Names: Fijian Mahogany
The tree: Fijian Mahogany trees have gray-brown bark which is smooth and grows in ridges or scales. The leaves of the Fijian Mahogany tree are compound, resembling that of the American Ash or Hickory. The flower of this tree is very small and tulip-shaped, yellowish red in color.
Appearance of Wood: Fijian Mahogany is a highly decorative timber that has a straight and even-textured grain. The wood can vary in color, from a pink shade to a reddish-brown and yellow to orangish brown. Fijian Mahogany darkens as it is exposed to light and darkens over time.
Density: Fijian Mahogany is considered a dense hardwood. Its tightly woven grain makes it highly resistant to splintering. The wood has impressive bending and compressive strength. This species roams in specific gravity from .39 to .56. The density can vary anywhere from as soft as poplar to as hard as hard maple. Janka Hardness measured at 800 pounds of force when dried.
Drying and Shrinkage: Fijian Mahogany has an overall low shrinkage rate during the drying process. It is less liable to warping, shrinking, swelling, and twisting than other woods. This resilience is due to its unusual resistance to moisture and atmospheric changes. It does not move and holds its shape very well.
Working Properties: Fijian Mahogany is easy to work with using either a machine or hand tools. A common occurrence during the working process with figured material is torn and chipped grain. Fijian Mahogany makes a fine veneer. It can be polished and finished very well. Glued and stained effectively. Fijian Mahogany considered an ideal wood for any custom wood project.
Durability: Fijian Mahogany is highly resistant to wood rot and is considered very durable. Its stability is one of the most sought-after characteristics as a building material, especially good in wet climates. Generally, heartwood rates as durable in disease resistance to brown-rot and white-rot fungus.
Uses: Fijian Mahogany is well suited for specialty products such as fine furniture, decorative molding, musical instruments, plywood, and flooring. Fijian Mahogany’s durable characteristics make it ideal for boat construction.
Availability: Genuine Fijian Mahogany is considered a sustainable, non-endangered timber. Available at wholesale lumber companies.